Era 5: Modern Church (1): Reformation & Struggles (AD 1500–1700)


VOLUME TWO. The Reformation to the Present Day.



1/      The Call for Reformation

·         What were the factors that accelerated the call for reformation of the church?

2/      Martin Luther: Pilgrimage to Reformation

The Long Quest—The Storm Breaks Loose

·         Why did the 95 Theses cause major reaction from everyone?

3/      Luther’s Theology

The Word of God—The Knowledge of God—Law and Gospel—The Church and Sacraments—The Two Kingdoms

·         How did Luther understand: (a) the Bible as the Word of God, (b) constant dialectic between law and gospel, (c) presence of Christ in the holy communion, and (d) the two kingdoms of church and state? Is his understanding identical to what we believe today?

4/      An Uncertain Decade

Exile, Unrest, and Rebellion—The Diets of the Empire

·         How did the political circumstances at that time help the success of Reformation?

5/      Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation

Zwingli’s Pilgrimage—The Break with Rome—Zwingli’s Theology

·         The German reformists were willing to retain all traditional uses that did not contradict the Bible while the Swiss reformists insisted that all that had not explicit scriptural support must be rejected. What was the cause of this difference? Which position was the correct one?

·         At Marburg, Luther and Zwingli met. They agreed with almost all the points of faith except how Christ is present in holy communion and Luther said, “We are not of the same spirit.” Do you agree with Luther?

6/      The Anabaptist Movement

The First Anabaptists—The Revolutionary Anabaptists—The Later Anabaptists

·         Why were the Anabaptists persecuted?

·         Can we see the influence of the Anabaptists today?

·         Is pacifism a Biblical mandate?

7/      John Calvin

Calvin’s Early Career—The Institutes—The Reformer of Geneva—Calvin and Calvinism

·         What was the main theological difference between the Lutheran church and the Reformed church? Who held the Biblical position?

8/      The Reformation in Great Britain

Henry VIII—Edward VI—Mary Tudor—ElizabethThe Reformation in Scotland

·         How was the Reformation in England and Scotland aided by the political situation at that time?

9/      Further Developments within Lutheranism

The War of Schmalkald—The Interim—Scandinavian Lutheranism

·         What were the favourable conditions that led the Scandinavian countries follow Protestantism?

10/    The Reformation in the Low Countries

The Political Situation—Protestant Preaching—The Beggars

·         What were the factors that led to the eventual liberation of the Low countries from the severe persecutions of the Spanish?

11/    Protestantism in France

Shifting Royal Policies—The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day—The War of the Three Henrys

·         The Edict of St. Germain (1562, giving the Huguenots religious freedom) was followed by the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572). What lessons can we learn from this?

·         Henry Bourbon (later Henry IV) changed his religion (between Catholic and Protestant) 5 times due to political expediency. How should we judge his actions?

12/    The Catholic Reformation

The Reformation of Spanish Catholicism—Polemics against Protestantism—New Orders—Papal Reformation—The Council of Trent

·         What were the good and the bad about Jimenez, the Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition?

·         What were the unbiblical decisions made at the Council of Trent? What were the Protestant positions for those issues?

13/    A Convulsed Age

·         What was the main reason for the many religious wars? Was it a legitimate reason?



14/    An Age of Dogma and Doubt

·         Why was the 17th-c described as the age of dogma? What new movements were the reaction to this?

15/    The Thirty Years’ War

The Storm Gathers—The Course of the War—The Peace of Westphalia

·         What were the results of the Catholic-Protestant Thirty Years’ War?

16/    The Church of the Desert

·         What were the results of persecution of the French Huguenots?

17/    The Puritan Revolution

James I—Charles I—The Long Parliament—Civil War—The Protectorate—The Restoration

·         What were the emphases of the Puritans? Were they Biblical?

·         What churches today came from the heritage of the Puritans? How did they affect other churches today?

·         What 2 works of Puritan literature are still influential today?

18/    Catholic Orthodoxy

Gallicanism and Opposition to Papal Power—Jansenism—Quietism

·         What were the different movement within the Catholic church that opposed the official positions? Were they Biblical?

19/    Lutheran Orthodoxy

Philippists and Strict Lutherans—The Triumph of Orthodoxy—Georg Calixtus and “Syncretism”

·         Melanchthon’s position on human free will and presence of Christ in communion were different from the Strict Lutherans. Which position was more Biblical?

·         Calixtus tried to lay the foundation of compromise between different Protestant traditions (confessions) by differentiating essential and secondary doctrines. In contrast, Calovius declared that everything in the Bible was absolutely necessary to be a Christian. Which one is the better position? Why?

·         What was Calixtus’s basis for differentiating essential and secondary doctrines? Was he correct? Was he a syncretist?

·         Does a compromise on peripheral elements of faith a surrender? Will the case be different during time of persecution? How about a different interpretation of the mode of baptism? Is it essential?

20/    Reformed Orthodoxy

Arminianism and the Synod of Dort—The Westminster Confession

·         Is Arminianism heretical? What about Methodists’ adoption of Arminianism?

·         Are the 5 points of predestination in Calvinism fully supported by the Bible?

·         Were the 5 points of predestination (as defined by the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Confession) originally intended by Calvin?